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What can you do now to enhance your UCAT performance? Tip 3: Work on your speed

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UCAT will take place in July 2019. However, there are a few things you can start doing now to enhance your UCAT performance. Tip 3 is to work on your speed.

The questions in UCAT are not particularly challenging, and most students are be able to answer the majority of questions correctly if given sufficient time. However, UCAT is extremely time pressured, and many students are simply unable to answer the questions within the time limits. In fact, about one fifth of candidates fail to put down an answer for every question in UCAT, meaning they run out of time to even make a random guess!

Time management skills are therefore essential to succeed in UCAT. So how can you get yourself used to the time pressures that you will face on UCAT test day? The best way is to complete UCAT drills and practice exams under timed conditions.

Most students take much longer than the time allocated in UCAT to complete questions. They do this in order to ‘get used’ to UCAT questions and practice strategies. This is fine for the first few questions in your UCAT practice, but it is important to move on to timed practice tests early in your preparation. Most students leave putting themselves under time pressure too late, and therefore struggle with timing on the day of UCAT.

You can also help get yourself used to working under time pressure by setting yourself goals in your high school study. If you need to read a chapter of a Chemistry textbook for example, estimate the time it would normally take you to read the chapter, and then try to read it in 80% of that time. If you need to complete a set of maths questions, try to do them in half the usual time. Putting yourself under time pressure in your day to day study has two benefits. Firstly, you will be training for UCAT, and secondly your study will become far more efficient. Think of all the things you can do with your spare time!

Remember, UCAT is all about thinking quickly, so work on that speed!

More tips and strategies for all subtests are available in MedEntry UCAT courses.

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